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Snarky Inanimate Object

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PokéDex: A forest Pokémon, Rattata. It likes cheese, nuts, fruits and berries.
Ash: Yeah, but this isn't a forest. It's an open field!
PokéDex: It also comes out into open fields to steal food from stupid travelers.

Imagine an object, say, an inanimate object. Any inanimate object. Got that? Good.

Now, imagine the characters in a show interacting with the object as if it were another character. That shouldn't be too hard to picture, should it? Good.

Now, imagine that object answers back. And it is snarky as all hell.

This can be any object, but it often takes the form of a Magic 8-Ball. Things that specifically are Artificial Intelligence in canon do not count.

Related tropes include Animate Inanimate Object, Companion Cube, and The Man in the Mirror Talks Back. See also Talking Appliance Sidekick and Silicon Snarker.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Pokémon: The Series, the PokéDex is canonically just a database. However, Dexter (Ash's PokéDex) had shades of this in the first episode of the series, notably calling Ash "stupid." The idea of the PokéDex as a character was phased out soon afterwards, only to be revisited in the Sun and Moon series with the Rotom Dex, which was a Rotom inserted into the Alolan PokéDex to give it a personality.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County:
    • Oliver Wendell Jones' Banana 2000 computer. Not intended to be an animate object, it frequently was sentient.
    • Also in Bloom County and Doonesbury, frequent examples of subtrope The Man in the Mirror Talks Back.
  • On occasion Garfield will use a talking scale, which will naturally make a joke about his weight.
  • FoxTrot:
    • Roger had an electronic chess game that was snarky to him, to the point where it made chicken sounds to lure him into playing (and losing).
    • Walking Techbane Roger once purchased a camera with an automatic assistance function to help less tech-savvy users. Roger tries to take a picture, and...
    Camera: *BEEP* Please hand me to someone who knows what they're doing.
    Roger: Dang. It's retracted all the buttons.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • While we won't get into a debate over whether Hobbes counts, Calvin's TV got in a few good ones, always quietly to itself:
      Calvin: What does this mean, "religion is the opiate of the masses"?
      TV: It means Karl Marx hadn't seen anything yet.
    • To say nothing of the Ouija Board he was messing around with in a later strip:
      Calvin: O Great Ouija Board, will I ever become president?
      Hobbes: It's moving!
      Calvin: "G...O...
      Hobbes: [finishing] "..D...F...O...R...B...I...D."
      Calvin: [kicking the board] When I want an editorial, I'll ask for it, you stupid board!
  • A wall in Pearls Before Swine gets in on the fun.
    Rat: What are you doing, Pig?
    Pig: Just staring at our living room and thinking of all the moments in our lives that have happened here. If only these walls could talk...
    Wall: You've bored us to the depths of our studs. [Beat] I've waited twenty years to say that.
  • During the '70s run of Peanuts, Sally would sometimes talk to the school building, and we'd hear what it was thinking in response. While it couldn't actually talk to the characters, it would occasionally drop its bricks on people when it was annoyed. It eventually passed through "snark" into "deep depression" and ultimately committed suicide.
  • In Scary Gary, the picture of a skull on one of Leopold’s coffee mugs occasionally silently reacts to what Leopold and the others say and do.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In some variations of "Snow White", the Magic Mirror is a smart aleck backtalker.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Toy Story, Andy's mother allows him to bring one toy with him to Pizza Planet. Woody picks up a Magic 8-Ball and asks it if Andy will pick him. Its response: "Don't count on it".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The robotic arm in Iron Man manages to be quite snarky even without any dialogue.
    • In Iron Man 3, Tony is experimenting with remote-controlling his armor when he and Pepper get into an argument, and at one point the armor turns to glare at Pepper. (Sure, it was probably Tony making it do so, consciously or unconsciously, but it was still funny.)
  • In Scary Movie 2, the protagonist is singing along to the radio when it suddenly speaks to her:
    Radio: Will you shut the hell up and let me sing my song?
  • In The Ladykillers (2004), the portrait of the old lady's late husband changes his expression to react to the events around him.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has the scene where a scientist programs a supercomputer into finding the locations of Wonka's golden tickets. First, the computer refuses to tell for it would be cheating. Then, when the scientist offers to share the grand prize, it retorts with "What would a computer do with a lifetime supply of chocolate?". Cue Ass Shove threat by the scientist.

  • In the Xanth series, Dor's magical talent is to make inanimate things talk, and sometimes they can be quite snarky. (One in-universe idea being, since inanimate objects don't have brains, they just say the first thing they can think of, which is usually brainless puns and jokes...)
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a snarky car. In one scene, a button appears that says PUSH. Caractacus doesn't push it. It changes to say PUSH, IDIOT.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Any object that has to interact with The Young Ones will have something to say about it.
  • A Finnish TV sketch starring Pertti "Spede" Pasanen revolves around a man having an argument with a talking ATM that's implied to be connected to an Omniscient Database of some kind, based on the fact that it's ridiculously aware of his comings and goings, doesn't want to give him large amounts of money because it knows that he'll just waste it on booze and ultimately ends up blackmailing and guilt-tripping him by letting him know that it's aware of his illegitimate son and it once paid an alimony check to him when the man forgot about it that month "just out of goodness of my heart". The man finally gets tired of this charade, tells the ATM that it can keep the money, blows raspberries at it and slams its flap closed before leaving and laughing at it.
  • Lab Rats has Eddie, the home security system. He cannot stand the majority of the home's residents and makes no secret of it. He keeps Leo locked in the lab during his Birthday Party while everyone except for Leo enjoys it. He ruins Tasha's reputation when the two of them switch places and so much of his dialogue is based on being snarky that if such an ability were erased, he very likely wouldn't talk at all. Even after he believes Leo has been killed by Marcus he's just upset Leo was "killed " while wearing him as wristwatch and that he can't go home as a result. Donald is the only one he seems to have any respect for.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "The Revelations of 'Becka Paulson", the 8-by-10 Man is occasionally rather snarky towards the title character.
  • Zaruba from GARO is a ring who serves as a snarky mentor to his many wearers, though the one he snarks the most to is Ryuga, since they start off on unfriendly terms.
  • The Gauntlet of Villains on the game show Whew! are ten cut-out cartoon ne'er-do-wells with TV monitors in their abdomens that, win or lose, snarks at the contestants.
  • In one of the opening segments for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, we have Alfred Hitchcock standing on a scale as he proceeds to put a coin into the slot, but instead of his weight, he get a card that reads "Will one of you please get off?"

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets would often have ordinary-seeming objects such as vegetables suddenly sprout faces and start singing and cracking wise.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons solo adventure Knight of the Living Dead. After becoming an undead creature, the protagonist has a weasel skull that acts as his companion, including snarky dialogue. It's implied that the conversations are his mind talking to itself.

    Video Games 
  • There are a whole lot of inanimate-object-based characters in Banjo-Kazooie, but even the immobile ones who can only blink may still snark at you.
  • Lilacor from Baldur's Gate 2 is not this - intelligent weapons are far from unprecedented in Dungeons & Dragons - but the Morrowind mod of the same name veers closer to this by it being unique for the The Elder Scrolls.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: The Shadowbringers story quest "The Wisdom of Allag" tasks the player character with retrieving a report on primal tempering from an ancient Allagan Archive Node. When the file turns out to be password-locked, NPC allies try various guesses, to which it simply beeps and denies access... until someone has the bright idea of trying "Password", at which point the device starts losing its patience.
    Archive Node: The notion that the password could be something so inane would be laughable were it not dangerously stupid. Furthermore, your conduct in the presence of His Highness is grossly inappropriate. Know your place, handmaiden.
  • Subnautica: The player's PDA can sound extremely sarcastic at times.
    PDA: [upon entering the Dunes] Detecting multiple leviathan-class predators in this region. Are you certain whatever you're doing is worth it?

    Web Animation 
  • Drillbithead's "brand-new best friend" in the eponymous animation by David Firth is an obnoxious talking can of paint.
  • Homestar Runner: Every computer Strong Bad used in Strong Bad Email has been snarky to him at some point, whether it's a result of bad-mouthing or just flat out revenge against him. Even The Paper has gotten into it.
  • Andy the Bomb from the Machinima series Red vs. Blue; not only is he/it snarky, he's also rude and crude, and he curses a lot.


    Web Original 

    Web Video 
  • Saying Obnox OS is this is an understatement.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: In a Cutaway Gag, Peter pulls a Cast Away.
    Peter: What are we gonna do now?! Wilson! WILLLSOOON!
    "Wilson": My name is Voit, dumbass.
  • The computer from Courage the Cowardly Dog, who speaks with a dry English accent and is always making wisecracks at Courage's expense. It does become animate in "Mega-Muriel the Magnificent" as the result of a lightning strike, but goes back to its former existence after an ill-thought attempt to show "true courage" by possessing Muriel and performing various dangerous stunts.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Scrubbin' Down Under", Rocko has difficulty fixing the copy machine. He looks on the display board, but it shows a lot of gibberish, before changing to say, "Figure it out, Einstein!"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • SpongeBob's Magic Conch Shell. At least to Squidward.
      Squidward: Could I have something to eat?
      Magic Conch: No.
      Squidward: Could I have something to eat?
      Magic Conch: No.
      Squidward: Could I have something to eat?
      Magic Conch: No.
      Squidward: Can't you say anything else but no?
      Magic Conch: Try asking again.
      Squidward: Could I have something to eat?
      Magic Conch: (sarcastic, insulting tone) No.
    • SpongeBob's swim trunks in "Ripped Pants"
      SpongeBob: We blew it, pants.
      Pants: What do you mean "we"?
    • The local sand in "Rock Bottom" has quite an attitude.
  • In Fanboy and Chum Chum, Fanboy's gloved hand comes to life in "Fanboy Stinks" due to Fanboy having gone too long without bathing and starts bossing him around.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Castle Mane-ia", Rarity voices her displeasure at the Castle of the Two Sisters at not being able to obtain its tapestries. The castle answers by dropping a piece of stone on her head.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: Randy's magic book, the Ninjanomicon, a collection of ancient ninja wisdom, often acts like it has a mind of its own and Randy even refers to the "Nomicon" like it's a person.
  • In The Critic episode where Marty runs for class president, Jay Sherman is in the audience filming Marty's campaign speech with a camcorder. Jay struggles through the camera's various settings before the display simply reads:
    Camera: Give it up, putz.


Video Example(s):


Willy Wonka

A super-advanced computer is asked to determine the whereabouts of the remaining Golden Tickets to enter Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. But the computer has other ideas...

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Example of:

Main / SnarkyInanimateObject

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